Children’s Dentistry

It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents as soon as possible.  You should then take them regularly, on average once every six months.

It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents when they are young to get used to the environment and prepare them for future visits.  The earlier these visits begin, the more relaxed the child will be.If your child already has a good relationship with the dentist, it is much easier for the child, parent and dentist if treatment does become necessary later on.

Cleaning your child’s teeth should be part of their daily hygiene routine.  You may find it easier to stand or sit behind your child, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily.  When the first teeth start to come through, try using a children’s toothbrush.  It is important to supervise your child’s brushing until they are at least seven years old.

Once all the teeth have come through, use a small-headed soft toothbrush in small circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time.  Don’t forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums.  If possible make tooth brushing a routine – preferably in the morning, and last thing before your child goes to bed. Remember to encourage your child, as praise will often get results!

Fluoride comes from a number of different sources including toothpaste, specific fluoride applications and perhaps the drinking water in your area.  These can all help to prevent tooth decay (caries).  You can get low-fluoride toothpastes, and the general rule is to use a small smear of toothpaste up to 5 years; from 5 to 7 use slightly less than a pea size and a normal pea size from 7 years upwards.  Children should be supervised up to the age of 7 and you should make sure that they spit out the toothpaste and don’t swallow any if possible. The most important point is to use a small-headed toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles, suitable for the age of your child.


Toothache is painful and upsetting, especially in children and the main cause is  tooth decay.  This is due to too much sugar, too often, in the diet. The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar in the diet, but how often it is eaten or drunk.  The more often your child has sugary foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay.  It is therefore important to keep sugary foods to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to cheese, vegetables and fruit, but not dried fruit. It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods also contain quite a lot of sugar.   Thorough brushing twice a day, particularly last thing at night, will help to prevent tooth decay.

Teething is another problem and starts when children are around 6 months old.  Symptoms may include high temperature, red cheeks, swollen gums and a tendency to dribble.  It can be painful, but is often eased by biting on a cold, smooth surface.A child’s sugar-free pain relief medicine or teething gel will often ease teething pains. However if the problem continues, please come and see us.

Children can sense fear in their parents, so it is important not to let your child feel that a visit to the dentist is something to be worried about.  Try to be supportive if your child needs to have any dental treatment, and if you have any fears of your own about going to the dentist, don’t discuss them in front of your child.

Some common dental problems seen in children are,

  • bad breath
  • stained teeth
  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • tooth loss
  • Dental erosion.

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour.  This is because the sugar will be utilized by bacteria in plaque and produce harmful acids.  Plaque is a build-up of bacteria which forms on your teeth and gums.

It is better to have three or four meals a day and avoid frequent snacking.

Dental erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attacks.  Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth.  If it is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed and your teeth can look discoloured and become sensitive.

Water and milk are the best things to drink. Tea without sugar is also good for teeth as it contains fluoride. Drink fruit juice at mealtimes.  If you want to drink fruit juices between meals, try diluting them with water.

If you need to eat between meals avoid sugary snacks, try these foods instead:

  • plain popcorn
  • nuts
  • cheese
  • plain yoghurt
  • cheese scones
  • unsweetened cereal
  • fresh soup
  • raw vegetable pieces
  • Fresh fruit.

For adolescents

Smoking can cause tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and – more seriously – mouth cancer.  Smoking is also one of the main causes of bad breath.

Alcoholic drinks can also cause mouth cancer.  Smoking and drinking together further increases the risk of developing mouth cancer. Alcohol can also increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion.  Some alcoholic drinks have a lot of sugar in them, and some mixed drinks may contain acids.  They can cause decay or dental erosion if you drink them often and in large amounts.

Illegal drugs can lead to a range of health problems.  Smoking cannabis can have the same effects as smoking tobacco.  Other drugs can cause a dry mouth, and increase the risk of erosion, decay, gum disease and bad breath.  Drugs can also cause you to grind your teeth, which can cause headaches and other problems.

Some people are unhappy with how their teeth look and feel. Braces straighten or move your teeth to improve their appearance and the way they work.  They can also help to improve the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.

There are many different types of braces we will be able to talk to you about what is best for you. technique to be deployed  depends on how severe the problem is. We can offer Invisalign treatment If that suits best for you….

The dangers of mouth piercing are:

  • Infection
  • Possible inflammation of the surrounding tissues
  • The tongue can swell
  • Chipping and breaking of other teeth
  • Speech, eating and swallowing can be difficult
  • Oral hygiene is difficult to keep up
  • Dental treatment can be difficult.

Top tips for looking after teenagers’ teeth are:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  Use a small- to medium-sized brush with soft to medium bristles and brush for two minutes.
  • Limit sugary food and drinks to meal times.
  • Visit your dentist at least once every 6 months.
  • Floss once a day to help remove plaque and food from between your teeth.
  • Use a straw with fizzy drinks.
  • Wait for at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic before you brush your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating to help make more saliva and neutralise the acids which form in your mouth after eating.